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When you hear about people getting scammed into wiring money, do you ever wonder who’s picking the money up on the other end?

In the case of people scammed by certain call centers in India, the answer was employees of PHLG Enterprises.

Today the FTC announced that PHLG and its owner have agreed to settle FTC charges that they helped collect money people sent in response to the call centers’ scams. Those scams included government grant scams, IRS tax scams, and advance fee loan scams. Telemarketers behind the calls often pretended to be affiliated with government agencies in the U.S. They told people they owed money to the IRS, or that they’d get a free government grant after they paid a fee.

Once India-based telemarketers deceived people into wiring payments, “runners” working for PHLG would promptly pick the money up at Western Union or MoneyGram locations throughout Florida. To avoid getting caught, they used false names, went to multiple stores in different cities on a daily basis to get around transaction limits, and lied to store employees about being friends or relatives of the people who wired money to make sure that they could pick it up.

By the time people realized they’d been scammed, their money was gone, and they had no way to get it back. According to the FTC, PHLG runners picked up more than $1.5 million from around 3,000 people from July 2015 to February 2016 alone.

So, how can you spot an imposter scam in the first place? For one thing, the real federal government will never call and tell you to wire money. Check out these four videos and articles on tech support, grandkid, online romance, and IRS imposter scams. Feel free to share the knowledge with your family and friends — just send them to ftc.gov/imposters.

 

 

Comments

Agreed to settle? How about jail them!!!

similar scams have happened to me.People should be notified they can report to FTC. the Microsoft scam happened to me in 2016.I called M in the middle of it and thay claimed knew about the scam and were working on it.Great! too late for me. scammers are very clever.

Buyers on Offerup.com beware! My husband and I almost lost $2000 on the purchase of a car. Sellers offer to good to be true prices with beautiful pictures of vehicles and have some story as to why they need to sell now and ship(for FREE) your new vehicle to you and lure you in buy thinking your money is safe with a big company like Google Wallet, Amazon Payments,etc.. If you run across such a deal ask for a VIN # and they stop replying! You can also Flag the seller on the site. Good luck and keep sharp!!

Thank you for alerting people about these scams.

When scammers call me I talk them for a while then ask if they have a family and kids they usually respond yes. They I ask them if the kids know their father is a theif. They hang up every time.

Got scammed out of $34,000 along with another person who got scammed out of $66,000. New oil wells in Texas, get your money back in one year and then profits will start to roll in..... Well, it has been 3 years and maybe a total between the 2 of us have gotten $3,000 back. We will never see what we started with let alone any gains.

A hefty fine on the ISP would put a stop to these scams.

good info .... everything help...

My husband was scammed by someone claiming to be from the IRS. They knew so much personal info he was certain and almost 12000 dollars later and on one will help. The bank does nothing for us. Who protects the customers? The banks are protect but not the customers. So sad. We will never see this money back and it will take years to pay back. Get jobs you scum bags and leave the working struggling people alone.

Please report what happened to you. The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) collects complaints about IRS impersonation scams at 800-366-4484 and online at TIGTA.gov.

They use scare tactics and i don't not to fall for any of them. I didn't enter any contest so I could't have won any money! I don't give personal info. I know the IRS is not going to lock me up. The worst is phone calls, guy sounds like he's from India, and tells me I have trouble with my PC; well I have an Apple so he's off on the wrong foot there. I just call people like that "liars" to their face and hang up on them. I send NO ONE money. You aren't getting something for nothing! And you are right, they call and call and call even after I curse them out and hang up on them! Seniors are the most vulnerable. I believe most of these calls are from foreigners and thats a crime that people in other countries can do this! They need to be caught and sent to prison and their assets seized.

I hope they catch the scammers with The Turbo Wealth System. Crazy right? But I have to agree with you Joy!

I think people doing or tied to these type scams should be sentenced to Life with possibility of parole after 20 years after conviction ,unless they give pertinent information to bust other scammers then reduce it to five years.

My daughter lost her green card at workforce 1 when she went there to look for a job. Any suggestions how to report to syop identity fraud?

Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do. It explains what reports to file right away, who to contact and how to repair the damage. The site provides step-by-step advice, easy-to-print checklists, and sample letters.

I was scammed some eighteen months ago. I was told I had won some money and that they would forward it for deposit to my banking account. But first they needed my bank routing number and my account number. Like a FOOL, I gave it to them and the next day my bank account showed a withdrawal of $4,000. I have the name of the individual who withdrew the money but what should I do with this information? I immediately closed my account but have received numerous calls with the same story, but using different telephone numbers for their calls.

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database. You could also contact your bank and  local law enforcement.

I keep getting scammed and harassed by ACE/ACS incorporation demanding money via ITunes cards, or debit cards, vanilla, paypal, etc. They threaten to ruin my credit, garnish my federal benefits and send me to jail. I'm sick of this harassing process. I personally called the Assistant District Attorney and spoke with her and she said, they are using her name in vain and that they are scammers. Delete the emails.

The "Official Tech support to fix your broken computer" scam is very active today in NH. 3 calls until I finally picked up the phone to tell them where to go. They are using the name Oscar Andersen. Calling from India. I just want people to know.

Recently scammed by Northwood Financing offering me a loan. Stupid me wired them money and now I am out over 1000 I borrowed this money and now my friends want it back. I am terrified and so hurt.

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

You can also report the business to your state Attorney General’s office.

TO ANYONE WHO CHOOSES TO SIGN UP FOR A TRIAL THEY'RE NOT RISK FREE, HOWEVER IF YOU CALL THAT COMPANY AND CXL YOUR ENROLLMENT ONCE YOU RECEIVE THE PRODUCT, IF YOU RECEIVE SAMPLE ITEMS AND YOU'RE ASKED TO PUT IN YOUR CARD INFO, ITS NOT JUST A SAMPLE ITS AN ENROLLMENT AND THE SAME RULES APPLY, THE TERMS AND CONDS ARE MADE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN WHERE YOU'LL HAVE TO CLICK ON TO SEE THE DETAILS OF THAT ADVERTISEMENT, PROMO, SAMPLE, OR TRIAL....# THEMOREYOUKNOW

In the case of people scammed by certain call centers in India, the answer was employees of PHLG Enterprises.

"Today the FTC announced that PHLG and its owner have agreed to settle FTC charges that they helped collect money people sent in response to the call centers’ scams. Those scams included government grant scams, IRS tax scams, and advance fee loan scams." --> does it mean that people can recover their financial loss ? is there any way?

The proposed settlement bans Treuhaft and PHLG from from aiding or facilitating any telemarketing and other conduct, and imposes a $1.5 million judgment that will be suspended based on the defendants’ inability to pay.

Most of the people the scammers pretend to be don't even call you in the first place, and usually tell you what you owe by regular or certified mail not to mention don't accept any pre-paid cards.

If someone is selling a car and someone out of state wants to buy it and wires money from their bank to your bank (without you asking or giving an amount and no contracts or verbal agreements took place, the wiring of money was their idea) but then doesn't ever send the rest of the money when you ask them to, is there legally anything that buyer can sue you for if you spend the money on paying off the car they were to buy and can't give them their money back....or does that just make them stupid for wiring money with no contract or bill of sale.

You may have been contacted by a rookie scammer. The usual con is to send a "certified" check for alot more than the agreed price. You are then instructed to deposit the check, subtract the amount of the purchase, and send the balance to their "shipper".

Later the check bounces, and you owe the bank for the money you sent.

Received a phone call on my cell phone. The caller said, " my name is Emily from customer service, can you hear me ?" I had heard about the voice identity scam . She wanted me to say YES ! I hung up . The phone number she called from was 1 904 435 0821 Be aware!

Jb not sure what this scam is? What would of happened if you said Yes, I can hear You?

The "yes" scam is not real. It has been disproved by Snoops.

Have an individual who wants me to open an IRA acct and they are supposedly going to deposit money into it for me. Any ideas what they might be up to?

A scammer called from The Middle East that claimed to be an agent from the IRS.
He wanted me to pay $1300 immediately , for income taxes that he said I owed.
He told me that I could use my debit card or if I wanted to, It would be OK if I used a Walmart credit card !!. How dumb do you have to be to go along with garbage ?

I got scammed today man saying I approved for federal grant he never asked for bank or social but I had to buy 175 dolled iTunes card to prove I ant bank rupture or ceiminal so I did then 200 more for wiring fee but the weird than is even after I gAve the iTunes card numbers he called bake an was texting me Makin sure the money game was Goin good but by that time it was closed..don't understand why he keeping in touch?

I recently received phone calls from Asian sounding men telling me that a company I had done business with was going out of business and was going to give me a rebate. I fell for it and in the process of dealing with them gave them my Social Security number.

Ultimately one of them wanted me to sign up for on-line banking so he could send the rebate to my checking account. I tried, but was unsuccessful.

After thinking it overnight, I realized it was all a scam. So far I've reported it to the State Police in Upper Deerfield Township in N.J. I've also called Equifax to put a hold on my credit reports. Equifax's automated service to me they would contact Experian and Trans Union to request to same service on my behalf.

If you gave your bank account number to a scammer, he can take money from your account. Contact your bank; ask to close that account and open a new one.

Identitytheft.gov has information about what to do if your Social Security number has been exposed.

You can also report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

i was on a dating site wen i met this guy hes a soldier retired to track im down iv got a lot of info now than before he has had money of me saying he needed his flight home but there is more to it now than before for 13 months its took me to track him can you help me to do wat i have to do to have him charged for his i want to show him for wat he is iv photoes of this guy iv had take money of me i was going to write to the investigations beauro to nail him please help me im heart broken and right now going thru a breivment of whish he knows .we were lovers and getting married but hes not contacted me now for 2 months on the chats and he last messaged me on the 30/3/17 asking me for more money but i had to track him and keep him sweet so i cud get more info of him to find out please help me to deal with him legaly.

Be careful for Nigerians who offer loans which the Fidelity bank will wire to your banking account. They will asked for Registration money then wire money then tax money. Very much confident and serious to give you the loan. They using Western Union or Money gram. Larry Maxwell advertised on YOU TUBE . He is from Nigeria. He is using email adress. larrymaxwell            . It is a SCAM

GOOD ONE

I keep getting an E-Mail that Cash Advance is suing me for none payment. I do not have a loan with them. I told them to send me a copy so I could turn it in to the attorney General for fraud and forgery. Was that a good thing to do?

I got a call from someone saying that I won 2.5 million dollars. The man on the phone said that he would wire me $300.00 dollars and I was to sent this $300.00 back to him by Western Union in order for me to receive this winnings. I told him that I would not send him any of my personal money and this is what he wants me to do. I am not sure if this is a scam or not since I am not giving him any of my money. Any advise?

If you get a surprise call saying you won millions of dollars, but the person wants you to pay money first, it's usually a scam.

Thanks for your consciousness and give ftc.gov/importers link that help us protect for our money wiring.The banks are protect but not the customers. So sad. We will never see this money back and it will take years to pay back. Get jobs you scum bags and leave the working struggling people alone.

Nice Info. Thanks for the Article

It's very important post

Thanks for your article

Can't believe it

God, what a world, everyone is so eager to deceive his neighbor. At least it's good that they started to struggle with this.

I got scammed on Facebook from a friends request that I accepted . Didn't hear back for awhile then he answered! It escalated quickly to I love you, you're my soul mate, then send me money to get my business license back! And use this app called viber to talk! There is no person by that name on Facebook except a Child actress to which he said many people have the same name! He says he's in Turkey but the phone number is from Sugarland Texas! Now it's a new month and he needs money again! How can I trace this person?

I am experiencing something similar.... I don't know what to do.. We only talk on messenger.... Help!!

Spam nowadays is growing like anything else.

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